Pear Theatre Opens 2019-20 Season With AN IDEAL HUSBAND By Oscar Wilde
Pear Theatre's 2019-20 season opens in August with "An Ideal Husband," a searing comedy of virtue and moral inflexibility. Directed by Jenny Hollingworth, "An Ideal Husband" previews on August 22, with press and Opening Night on Friday, August 23, followed by a champagne gala. The show runs Thursdays through Sundays through September 15. All performances are held at the Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.thepear.org or calling (650) 254-1148.
"Anyone coming to see this show can expect an entertaining evening full of gorgeous period costumes and customs and the eloquence and wit for which Oscar Wilde is famous," said director Hollingworth. "But underneath this glittering surface is a surprisingly serious - and timeless - plea for tolerance and understanding. The exciting challenge for me as director is to make sure that the message is heard even as audience members leave the theatre laughing."
In Wilde's classic "An Ideal Husband," Sir Robert is facing potential blackmail from Mrs. Cheveley, who holds a letter proving that years ago, Robert sold Cabinet secrets to gain funds to build his current fortune. Not only would a revelation ruin his political career, it would likely end his marriage to the morally inflexible Lady Chiltern - an enemy of Mrs. Cheveley's since school days - who believes her husband should be an irreproachable model of virtue and decorum. Rife with Wilde's skewering observations of high society, An Ideal Husband explores political corruption, public persona versus private virtue, and the inevitable disappointments that come with holding others to one's own rigid ideals.
Director Jenny Hollingworth is originally from the U.K., and moved to the Bay Area in 2004. She has worked with San Jose Repertory Theatre, Dragon Theatre Productions, City Lights Theatre Company, Los Altos Stage Company, The Pear Theatre and Tabard Theatre as (variously) director, producer, associate artistic director, writer, dramaturg, acting coach, dialect coach, and house manager. A long-time Harold Pinter aficionado, her production of Pinter's Betrayal was awarded the Silicon Valley Small Theatre Award for Standout Adult Contemporary Drama (2012) and her direction of The Birthday Party led to her nomination for Best Director, Theatre Bay Area Awards (2014). Most recently, she directed George Orwell's 1984 at Los Altos Stage Company and Equivocation by Bill Cain at Dragon Theatre Productions, both of which were recommended 2018 Theatre Bay Area productions.
"An Ideal Husband" features Daniel Zafer-Joyce as Robert Chiltern, Ellen Dunphy as Lady Chiltern, Kelsey Tresemer as Mrs Cheveley, Aaron Weisberg as Lord Goring, Cindy Weisberg as Mabel Chiltern, Monica Cappucini as Lady Markby, Tom Farley as Lord Caversham, and Kyle Smith as Phipps/Vicomte. The design and crew team includes Stage Manager Chrissie Schwanhausser; Lighting Designer Meghan Souther; Props Designer Zoe Stanton-Stavitz; and Costume Designer Patricia Tyler.
Pear Theatre began as the Pear Avenue Theatre in June 2002, under the leadership of Artistic Director Diane Tasca, by a group of theatre artists who believe that audiences are eager for plays that challenge as well as delight and move them. Pear Theatre produces intimate theatre by passionate artists, whether classic works or cutting-edge plays. Now in its eighteenth season, The Pear attracts theatre artists and audience from all over the Bay Area for its award-winning and high-quality productions; and its ongoing commitment to excellence was recognized by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle with the Paine Knickerbocker Award, an annual special award for a Bay Area company contributing to the high quality of theatre in the region.
Pear Theatre moved in 2015 from its original 40-seat warehouse space to a new, state-of-the-art black box theatre close by, with capacity of 75-99 seats depending on the configuration of the production. This exciting move allows The Pear to continue its tradition of intimate theatre while taking on new challenges and opportunities. In August 2017, Betsy Kruse Craig took the helm as the new Artistic Director, beginning with this season.